Metadata Documentation and Policy

Northern Illinois University Digital Library seeks to facilitate searching, retrieval, discovery, and long-term preservation of resources in our digital collections through the application of national and international best practices and standards for metadata creation and maintenance. All resources in NIUDL are described in both MODS and Dublin Core, with PREMIS records for long-term storage. Additionally, some of our collections use RDF to describe relationships between resources.

Input Guidelines for Descriptive Metadata: This document consists of guidelines for using Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) in describing digital collections at Northern Illinois University.

Project Specifications for Metadata Creation: Project specifications note any divergences from the MODS input guidelines (above) or special requirements for specific digital projects. Specifications are written for each new project.

Metadata Quality Control Guidelines: Describes the workflow for assessing metadata quality during digitization, including primary and secondary QC stages and QC levels.

Metadata Quality Assessment Plan: Defines a plan for assessing metadata quality on the basis of completenes checks against input guidelines and best practices.


NIU Metadata Creation and Remediation: This repository contains scripts, stylesheets, and ingest forms developed by NIUDL to assist with metadata creation and remediation in Islandora and DSpace.

Dime Novel Ontology: An OWL/XML ontology, developed in partnership with, used for describing the relationships between serialized fiction in the dime novel collection.


Item-level metadata from collections in NIUDL is available for harvesting using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Unless otherwise noted, all records in NIUDL are dedicated to the public domain.

The baseURL for harvesting these records is For more information about OAI-PMH, see